Notify Financial Institutions, Government Agencies and Others.


5. Notify Financial Institutions, Government Agencies and Others

The next step is to notify all the following places of the individual’s death. Each is important for different reasons.Social Security AdministrationThe deceased person’s employerInsurance companiesCredit bureausCredit card companiesPost officeUtility companiesCreditorsSocial Security offers survivors a $255 one-time death benefit. More importantly, the spouse or children of someone who dies may be qualified for monthly survivor benefits from Social Security. To find out if you meet the requirements, contact Social Security online or call 800-772-1213.

Another reason to inform Social Security is so the agency can put the deceased person on the Social Security Master Death Index. This prevents would-be fraudsters from collecting a dead person’s Social Security payments. It also helps stop identity thieves from using accounts in the name of the deceased individual, because the person’s credit reports will be flagged.

Every creditor also needs to be notified immediately because the last thing you want is for bills to continue to run. Prompt notification of the death to various businesses saves the estate money and protects the estate of the deceased.

The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t need to be advised about the individual that has passed. Rather, you should file a change of address with the postal service, so that mail is rerouted to the executor of the estate or to a trusted family member.​

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